About Us

In 1997, publisher and president Veronica Tovey brought her vision for a community publication to fruition, launching What’s Up? in the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County region. Twenty-five years later, our company delivers a fleet of glossy-print publications to more than 100,000 households (and 300,000 monthly readers) across the Chesapeake Bay region, sends daily e-newsletters to 20K digital subscribers, produces big-draw live and virtual events annually, partners with philanthropic organizations that serve our communities, and continues to evolve in ways both planned and unexpected. 

If there’s one word to sum these 25 years, it’s “WOW!” 

How did it all happen? Who played contributing roles to our longevity and success? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and meet a few faces. 

Visionaries & Salutes

The creatives who founded and have shaped our publications over these 25 years.


Veronica Tovey, Publisher & President

What’s Up? Media was founded by Veronica Tovey in 1997, but her publishing story begins years earlier. Falling in love with Annapolis and completing her move to the region in 1990, the former fiduciary and always entrepreneur found herself in new environs that peaked her curiosity and beckoned her creativity…and she needed help navigating it all, literally. Save for a Rand McNally road atlas, Tovey couldn’t find an easy-to-read map of Downtown Annapolis and so she launched a company in her home’s basement to produce a colorful map of the city, complete with interesting anecdotes, factoids, and advertiser support. Six years later, the publishing bug bit again and she dreamt up What’s Up? magazine under the banner slogan “All the Entertainment and Sports.” It was a dream come true and when asked about how she developed the business plan to make it all work, Tovey confides she was non-traditional. She didn’t belabor the financial minutiae, she just knew it would work with persistence and keeping it fun. Twenty years later, she’s still very much enjoying the ride. 

wum8Carol Denny, Editor

As our flagship publication’s first Editor—a role she maintained for eight years—Denny mixed the creative formula that brought Annapolis and Anne Arundel County a publication focused on the region’s best entertainment, sports and activities, dining, and Chesapeake lifestyle interests. 

Linda Laing, Graphic Designer

Starting in the basement office of What’s Up? with Tovey and Denny, Laing would serve as the publication’s lead designer for 10-plus years. She did it all; article layouts, advertisements, inserts, logos, letterhead, ancillary pubs, and much more. 

Callie and Lulu, What’s Up?’s Best Friends

What’s Up? Media has always been a dog-friendly company and during our first 10 years, if you paid a visit to our office, chances are that you were greeted by the friendly tail-wag and curiosity of Callie, our publisher’s faithful English Setter. Callie was an old salt with a lover’s heart and when she passed on to doggy heaven in 2011, her presence left a void. It would be Lulu, a Shitzu, to the rescue a couple of years later and ever since, arresting the office with her cuddliness and energetic spunk day in, day out. 

Wum9James Houck, Editorial Director

Beginning as a part-time editor in 2001, Houck kept creating more work for himself to the point of earning promotions as the company’s Assistant Editor, Sports & Dining Editor, Managing Editor, and finally Editorial Director by 2011.

wum9Ashley Lyons, Chief Operating Officer

Beginning as an administrative intern in 2002 by helping out several hours per week after the high school dismissal bell each day, Lyons progressed and grew with the company, eventually directing all advertising production before, ultimately, becoming the company’s COO & Director of Advertising. 

wum10Kathy Sauve, Senior Account Executive

As one of the most headstrong, savvy, and personable employees of What’s Up? Media, Sauve (nee Stanton) has fostered client and co-worker relationships for more than 15 years, as well as grow company sales consistently year-over-year.  

Wum11Debbie Carta, Account Executive

For several years, Carta developed client relationships within the Annapolis market before breaking into uncharted waters and becoming the lead account executive for our Weddings publication, and additional ancillaries. Altogether, she has been with the company for more than 15 years. 

wum12Dennie Mercer, Financial Manager

Approaching almost a decade with the company, Mercer is the company’s financial manager, accounting for incoming and outgoing cash flow, while juggling a multitude of fiscal responsibilities that drive our company. 

wum14Nadja Maril, Editor

Maril directed the editorial ship during what was, arguably, the largest growth period for the publications in terms of content, projects, and new endeavors; 2005 to 2011. Her own regular column, “Antiques,” was treasured by many longtime readers. 

wum15August Schwartz, Art Director

Schwartz is our go-to designer for unique editorial layouts, contemporary advertising design, and, a refreshed look for the entire fleet of publications. He also directs the company’s digital and online suite of products, including whatsupmag.com, daily e-newsletters, virtual events, and more.

wum16Matt D’Adamo, Graphic Designer

For nearly 10 years, D’Adamo has been the creative force behind the marketing design of inhouse and client advertising. His eye and graphic acuity have shaped the modern aesthetic of our publications.

Staff Salutes

Of the current full-time and contracted employees, there are several that have dedicated five years or more with the company and others approaching the milestone. Still others are fresh faces, but just as integral to company dynamic. We salute Steve Buchanan (staff photographer), Beth Kuhl (account executive), Arden Haley (web content specialist), Lauren Ropel (graphic designer), Kristen Awad (administrative assistant), Nick Gullotti (production manager), Nina Peake (account executive), Michelle Roe (account executive), Megan Kotelchuck (entertainment editor), George Young (account executive), and Heather Teat (bookkeeper). 

Writers & Photographers

There have been a vast number of contributors over these many years to What’s Up? Media’s publications. To name them all herein would be an exercise in memory that would regretfully forget a name or two or ten. Some of our most dedicated contributors are listed on the current masthead; and many others on mastheads past. You can read and see their excellent work in this issue and past issues, which can be found in the digital collection of magazines online at whatsupmag.com. To all, we express gratitude for your dedicated work and quality of content that, altogether, has truly made What’s Up? Media what it is today.

To Our Clients 

Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum and ours has always been linked to the sincere relationships we’ve cultivated in the decades since we started. From clients that signed on with us when we were still a basement business getting our feet wet to clients that appreciate the full-suite of marketing plans we offer today, we say “Thank you.” Thank you for your loyalty and believing in our success story enough to help you realize and foster your own.    

Publishing Timeline

Notable events in the history of What’s Up? Media


wum2May 1997: What’s Up? Media is founded by Veronica Tovey and the company’s first publication is mailed in May

March 2000: The company office grows from Publisher Veronica Tovey’s basement to its new home in the Mason Building at 929 West Street


May 2004: Our magazine graduates from saddle stitch binding (stapled at center) to a perfect bind (a la paperback), a confirmation of our growth

June 2004: The reader-voted Best of Annapolis contest is established, along with the largest awards party in town held each June 

May 2007: What’s Up? Annapolis celebrates its 10th anniversary and What’s Up? Eastern Shore is launched

May 2008: Our biannual publication, What’s Up? Weddings, launches and personalizes the bridal experience with local and regional coverage and insights; soon thereafter, a biannual Weddings Expo event is established 

May 2012: What’s Up? West County is launched, delivering western Anne Arundel County its own magazine


wum6January 2014: Company moves from 929 West Street to offices at 201 Defense, a 78,000-square foot office building that has been an icon in the Annapolis area since it’s development in 1990, and continues to delight tenants and visitors with a modern aesthetic

November 2016: What’s Up? Media partners with the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County to develop quarterly, juried art exhibitions. The first exhibition “Fall on the Chesapeake” launches the series, which continues today with the latest exhibition “Wonders of Water,” on exhibit now at the 201 Defense building

March 2020: Covid-19 pandemic in March forces businesses, including What’s Up? Media, to operate remotely/virtually; this, in turn, has developed the hybrid office/telecommute work environment for the foreseeable future 

January 2022: What’s Up? West County morphs into What’s Up? Central Maryland, increasing the magazine’s overall circulation and distribution to include Prince George’s County

May 2022: What’s Up? Annapolis celebrates 25th anniversary; What’s Up? Eastern Shore celebrates 15 years; What’s Up? West County/Central Maryland celebrates 10 years